When you reach the age of 35, you hardly feel old. In fact, it probably seems like mere years ago that you attended your high school prom, got your first car, scored your first job, and made your way through college. Unfortunately, your biological clock feels differently. For years – decades, even – women have been warned about the risks of pregnancy after age 35. Is it really necessary to rush to have a baby before this seemingly magic number?
The Risks of Pregnancy After Age 35
There is some truth behind what you’ve been told about the risks of pregnancy after 35. No matter how young you feel, there are major changes going on inside your body once you hit your mid-30s. Most of the changes are the result of changing hormones that prepare women for the inevitable menopause – even though it can still be a decade or more away.
Research over the years concludes that women are more at risk for certain pregnancy complications once they reach 35, including gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and hypertension. These complications make mom and baby more at risk for low birthweight, prematurity, miscarriage, stillbirth, and complications that would make it necessary to have a C-section. Down syndrome is also a huge concern when women become pregnant near this age, since an older woman’s eggs may struggle to divide chromosomes properly.